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[News] USB card HIGHWAYANN.lu
Posted on 06-May-2002 18:42 GMT by kdh42 comments
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The USB card HIGHWAY will be general available by May, 31st 2002 and will be distributed by KDH Datentechnik. This is the first time that Amiga users can connect and use modern USB devices in connection with their classic Amigas. HIGHWAY is a Zorro II USB card and comes with an integrated 4-port-hub. The user has the possibility to connect up to four USB devices without the need for an additional hub. In addition, the HIGHWAY card can be expanded by the new 10Mbit ethernet modul NORWAY without wasting an additional Zorro slot. A compatibility list for Zorro-boards and Zorro-cards can be found here.

The boards have been developed and manufactured by E3B ( Michael Boehmer ). The worldwide distribution is done by KDH Datentechnik and your local Amiga dealer will have the cards in stock by end of May.

The scope of delivery includes the USB software stack Poseidon by Chris Hodges. Drivers for USB mice, keyboard and parallel interface ( printers ) and mass storage devices ( SCSI-emulation: e.g. flashcard-reader, ZIP-devices, digicams following the MSD-standard ) will be shipped in addition to the HIGHWAY card without any additional cost. More drivers ( webcam, digicam and printers ) are being developed right now by third party companies.

We do support the development of the Amiga OS4.0 contained USB-stack by providing the USB cards HIGHWAY and SUBWAY. Both cards serve as the reference-hardware for the software-development and will be directly supported by OS4.0. Alternatively it will be possible to use the provided Poseidon stack.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 1 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by amigos on 06-May-2002 17:53 GMT
it suxxx....
usb is dead...now it's usb2.
dumb people.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 2 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 06-May-2002 17:56 GMT
Then Amiga is also dead, you can go away troll
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 3 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by José on 06-May-2002 18:00 GMT
Then most current PeeCees are dead
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 4 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by amigos on 06-May-2002 18:01 GMT
today it's less expensive to include usb2 bridge.
troll ass
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 5 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by José on 06-May-2002 18:03 GMT
what about the subway?
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 6 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by amigos on 06-May-2002 18:08 GMT
subway is obsolete
e.g 10Mb ethernet to usb device eat 80% of the usb bandwith
theorically :
usb : 12Mb (1,5MB/S)
eth : 10Mb (1,28MB/S)
better call these : usdsb (universal single device serial bus)
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 7 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Budda on 06-May-2002 18:22 GMT
In reply to Comment 6 (amigos):
PCs have coped like this for years. What should it become a problem all of a sudden?
Oh, and quit using USB for ethernet connections. Go use a dedicated card.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 8 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by amigos on 06-May-2002 18:31 GMT
reply to buddha:
ok but it was an exemple.
1 usb cam does the same.
1 usb scanner does the same.
1 usb printer does the same.
1 usb soundcard
1 usb 10/100 Mb ethernet does the same.
usb 1.1 is supposed to replace the // port.
it stuck on peecee, that's why it goes to usb2 (400Mb rate) and you still can use your old usb device with it.
it's stupid to integrating dead market technology inside a state of the art operating system.
In about 6 months usb 1.1 device will never being shipped anywhere.
it's more interresting to not adding usb onboard, less expensive for endusers.
And we just have to add an usb2 PCI card (about 50€) for users who need it.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 9 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 06-May-2002 18:40 GMT
We are speaking about usb cards for the classic Amiga.
USB 2 makes no sense on zorro 2.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 10 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by amigos on 06-May-2002 18:47 GMT
zorro2 makes no sense on future of amiga too.
that's why amiga is still underground.
i don't talk about following peecee market but for having a decent new computer (usb2 is better for future, born last middle year)
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 11 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by amigos on 06-May-2002 18:49 GMT
petro suxx
and you follow him.
amiga classic must rest in peace. i talk about Hardware , not about the OS.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 12 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 06-May-2002 19:02 GMT
Amigos. Would you mind to put your real name ? (if you have any balls)
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 13 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by kjetil on 06-May-2002 19:14 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Christophe Decanini):
So watt are going to de with is real name,
spam his ass? or are you going to make funny names out of this real name?
You only get it in return.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 14 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by kjetil on 06-May-2002 19:20 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (amigos):
USB9 mega bits /s
USB2?
Ethernet10 mega bits / s
803.11B11 mege bits / s
Ethernet100 mega bits / s
Firewire?
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 15 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 06-May-2002 19:21 GMT
In reply to Comment 13 (kjetil):
No, it is just that I like to know with who I am speaking.
If the guy had is real name he would maybe insult less people when writing here.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 16 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by kjetil on 06-May-2002 19:51 GMT
In reply to Comment 15 (Christophe Decanini):
This is true the only problem hi think it cool,
to be Batman, to bad we can so easy find out where hi lives!
by doing as simple traceroute. This is not scare any one it's the reality of it.
-- Be nice or pay the price --
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 17 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Neil on 06-May-2002 19:52 GMT
For the Highway price you can buy 4 ports USB 2.0 (480Mbps) and 3 ports FireWire (400Mbps) on one PCI card.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 18 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Chris Hodges on 06-May-2002 20:18 GMT
In reply to Comment 17 (Neil):
@neil/amigo:
...just go ahead then.
I really don't know what those trolls here want? I'm pretty sure that USB devices
(either generally or USB1.1) will not suit everybody. If so, just go away and stick
with what you've got. Nobody forces you to go for USB or in this case, the Highway
Zorro board.
It's not about the performance, which is obviously, suboptimal (that's a general USB
design problem). It's about the new applications that become available.
Some USB hardware is just cheap and cool. If you want speed, then go for SCSI. Ah, there
are no SCSI mice or keyboard? Or webcams? Or digicams? SCSI scanners too expensive for
you? Standard printer port to slow? No free serial port for your modem? Or your tablet?
Here USB devices might help.
USB is not the holy grail and a solution for everything or everybody. Too bad it has become
some kind of standard on the PC. Too bad Zorro2/3 is not capable of the bandwidth required
for USB2.0. Too bad that 99% of the USB devices available are still USB1.0/1.1 devices.
I even bought a 10/100MBit USB 1.1 ethernet card on ebay for EUR 10,- -- and I know this is
not sensible at all. But hey, the transfer speed sure is enough for connecting to the DSL
modem, eh?
Some of you people will never be satisfied with what they get. But I don't really care.
I've spend a lot of time on Poseidon (and still do), Michael did the same with his
Highway/Subway boards. We did this for the users that want to benefit from USB. Not to
make a killing.
There must be a reason why one still sticks to Amiga systems, even if you can get much cheaper
and faster hardware for the PC, innit?
Best regards
Chris Hodges
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 19 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Budda on 06-May-2002 20:22 GMT
In reply to Comment 17 (Neil):
And not every Amiga user has a PCI busboard in their system, so pretty useless information when the subject of this thread is the AMiga Subway zorro2 card, right?
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 20 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Janne Sirén on 06-May-2002 20:31 GMT
In reply to Comment 18 (Chris Hodges):
Chris, I would just like to say thanks to you and Michael for finally making USB on the Amiga happen. Many projects were certainly announced over the years, so it is finally nice to see some tangible progress on this front - even if it is, as you say, not the cutting edge anymore. It is certainly a step in the right direction. Thank you.
As for some of the comments here, I must say I was quite surprised that someone would see this as bad news or news to be flamed. I didn't expect this to be a controversial subject. Not that I don't understand some of the concerns posted here, it certainly would be nice to bring the Amiga up to the cutting edge and these products certainly won't do that, but then I'm sure they were never meant to either.
These are things that will keep the Classic's going for a while longer and for that I voice my appreciation. Now that USB 1.1 is being addressed, perhaps people can start planning for those USB2 and Firewire expansions/drivers... here's hoping! :-)
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 21 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 06-May-2002 21:50 GMT
In reply to Comment 20 (Janne Sirén):
"As for some of the comments here, I must say I was quite surprised that someone would see this as bad news or news to be flamed"
Yes. My apologies if I sound as rude as the people flaming. I'am just fed up with negative comments on every thread.
Most of these guys are insulting people that accomplished something these whiners could not do.
I think this is great and can be a base for all future Amiga system. If everyone would work like Chris and co we would not have the Amiga in a such bad shape.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 22 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by sutro on 06-May-2002 22:28 GMT
In reply to Comment 18 (Chris Hodges):
Chris Hodges has put the record straight. Zorro has been tight with the success of the Amiga since the early years, i.e. it was a good thing. It gave us superior expandability over ISA/VESA/... Highway USB Zorro board is for those people who need low-end USB peripherals on their classic Amiga configutations and do not wish to throw away their Zorro cards or pay unecesserarily for PCI expansions - believe it there are many such systems around.
Highway USB is mostly welcome and furthermore, any price comparison with a PCI USB card is unfortunate. Stop nagging !!!
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 23 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 06-May-2002 22:48 GMT
Hi
Can you please give some information how the USB keyboard/mouse support will work ? Can the early startup menu still be accessed with the mouse buttons ? and if I boot to a shell window (no startup-sequence) will I still be able to type ? Or do I need to retain a Amiga keyboard/mouse for these purposes ?
Thanks btw, it looks like a great product.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 24 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Raffaele on 07-May-2002 00:34 GMT
Cough, cough, cough...
Set a little bit on attention status please,
I read that many users claim for USB 2.0,
Well, it is important because on USB every peripheral that you connect, it eats lots of bandwidth,
so if you have more than 1 or 2 peripherals, then the delay becomes evident,
and becomes not anymore suitable...
and there are no more advantages...
in using USB Mouse and Keyboard.... (NOOO? BWAAAHHH!!!)
with all the condolences for the world of PC standards in which there are strong pressures to abandon PS2 connectors in advantage for the USB...
The solution they chose was to upgrade USB to USB2...
But, hey... pssst... I want to tell you a gossip....
(Sudden Volume Jump) EVEN WINDOWS XP STILL HAS NO SUPPORT FOR USB2...
And to avoid another poor figure,
Bill $ is roaring to the PC motherboard manifacturers not to implement that feature in their products...
(instead of upgrading his "marvellous jewel"),
XP... some people now wonder if does it means X-POX....
LOL
;-)))))))))))))))))))))
Bye,
Raffaele
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 25 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Chris Hodges on 07-May-2002 04:56 GMT
In reply to Comment 23 (Anonymous):
Poseidon and its included class drivers can be made RomTag resident. That
means you can put a LoadModule instruction just before SetPatch (which
normally reboots the Amiga the first time) and you will be able to use the
mouse and keyboard (? well, you can toggle between PAL/NTSC) inside the
boot menu or the initial shell without having to do anything further (this
was already working in mid of march).
Poseidon currently only supports mice (and tablets) and keyboards in the so
called boot mode. This mode needs no configuration from the user side. A
general HID class (which is rather complex) will be available later on and
will offer lots of user configuration possibilities (like setting up
actions for special keys) comparable to the things you could do with the
function keys with my FormAldiHyd tablet driver.
Due to the bootmenu of <=OS4 is using hardware hacking to check for the
mouse buttons, /currently/ you will not be able to /enter/ the boot menu
using an USB mouse. If Ben is not going to sue me ;-) I might provide a
patch which allows this.
There is also an input.device replacement (courtesy of MorphOS/Ralph
Schmidt, who provided his source and allowed me to do the modifications) as
the initial input.device is unable to cope with multiple devices. So the
things that have been done by lots of patching in FormAldiHyd are now gone.
Booting from mass storage devices will also be possible in future, but I
don't think I'll have the time to add this for the first release.
I hope this answers your questions?
Best regards
Chris Hodges
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 26 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by EmGee on 07-May-2002 05:23 GMT
To all the people ranting "why not USB2.0"
Do you know how long it took to get USB1.x in the mainstream ?
Over 4 years !! The majority of people still will use USB1.x as it's in their PC, and the average Joe aren't so techfreaky that they immediatly upgrade to usb2.0. Wait another 2-4 years before USB2.0 is mainstream, and then the other hardware vendors will catch up and make only usb2.0 devices.
People don't worry, usb1.x will stay awhile.
Greets EmGee
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 27 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Jürgen Schober on 07-May-2002 05:45 GMT
In reply to Comment 22 (sutro):
>VESA/... Highway USB Zorro board is for those people who need low-end USB
>peripherals on their classic Amiga configutations and do not wish to throw
>away their Zorro cards or pay
Not only that. It does also make perfect sence for a mediator PCI A1200 machine
if you do not want to waste a PCI slot for things like mice/KB or reading images
from your digi cam. So this solution is a perfect add-on (and IMO long overdue)
for the Amiga. - Not to mention you need it these days if you would like to
buy a (new) printer ! Great work, thank you guys (to make a clear positive sign;).
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 28 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by priest on 07-May-2002 08:36 GMT
IMHO: USB for old amigas is a excellent thing... especially as long as old Amigas are the only kind of Amigas we have (not counting emulators). Yet another indication that Amiga makes things possible. Think about it, you can use USB devices on a 15 year old computer! 8)
I have here one clock port free in my A4k ... I might even buy that USB thing ... otherwise the wait for the next Amiga becomes too long... ;)
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 29 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by José on 07-May-2002 09:11 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (Raffaele):
eheh, good! Now we need USB2 support on AmigaOS4.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 30 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Andretti on 07-May-2002 12:19 GMT
Well let's see USB 1.1 or no USB. I take USB 1.1 I have a 2000 toaster system and a USB port would actually make it a whole lot easier to do certain things. This is my OPINION entirely but in the PC world not AMIGA, USB is dead it should get outta the way for Firewire which has proved it's fast and more reliable even if it is Apple Tech.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 31 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Ole-Egil Hvitmyren on 07-May-2002 12:29 GMT
In reply to Comment 30 (Andretti):
Well, the only difference between IEE1394 (not apple) and Firewire (apple) is a flashy name. The only problem that create is that some people do not understand that ieee1394 actually IS firewire. So when they see that apple supports firewire and usb2, and they get told by their local macguru that firewire is a godsend, they will only look at machines sold with "firewire", not "ieee1394". And so we are back on the old: people are sheep and large corporations are butchers-thinge...
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 32 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Jaeson Koszarsky on 07-May-2002 16:27 GMT
In reply to Comment 1 (amigos):
I'll be ordering one for my A3000T.
Sure a PCI card might be less but add the cost of a PCI board to that and the price isn't so good anymore. For a classic system, this USB is a decent solution. I would have prefered a ZII/ZIII card but whatever, I'm using a 10 year old computer and it does the job. How many 10 year old PC's or Mac's can do that and still be upgraded?
Given our market size, sure things will be pricey, that's expected.
Now if I could get more RAM....
Jaeson K.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 33 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Matthew on 07-May-2002 16:51 GMT
I cannot wait for someone to allow me to place a Soundblaster Audigy
in my A1200T/mediator and write some drivers for the Firewire
connector.
This would give me a good soundcard and firewire to boot while only
using 1 precious PCI slot.
Matthew
SWAUG SURF-ZONE
www.swaug.freeserve.co.uk
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 34 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Philippe on 07-May-2002 18:41 GMT
In reply to Comment 27 (Jürgen Schober):
> Not only that. It does also make perfect
> sence for a mediator PCI A1200 machine
> if you do not want to waste a PCI slot
> for things like mice/KB or reading images
I think that USB on Zorro II or clockport is
not an interesting solution for the Mediator users.
Personally, I plan to buy Shark+ with USB2.0 hub on board.
In the system operating on the PowerPC G3 or G4 processor
connecting an USB mouse through ZorroII or clockport
and not on the PCI side (where bandwith is several times higher)
would slow down the whole system dramatically.
So, USB on Zorro II or clockport is for sure not
the solution for people who like me would go for G4.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 35 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Raffaele on 07-May-2002 18:45 GMT
In reply to Comment 30 (Andretti):
Mr. Andretti wrote:
> Well let's see USB 1.1 or no USB.
> I take USB 1.1 I have a 2000 toaster system and a USB port
> would actually make it a whole lot easier to do certain things.
> This is my OPINION entirely but in the PC world not AMIGA,
> USB is dead it should get outta the way for Firewire
> which has proved it's fast and more reliable
> even if it is Apple Tech.
No way...
Firewire is a connection to move large amount of data in a little time...
Suitable for portable HDD, video stream and thingies like these...
USB is a port to connect a vaste amount of peripherals, cascading them and so on...
...but the USB standard committee wants to transform it in a competitor to SCSI and to obtain this, bandwidth has to be expanded and volume of data increased in speed... (USB2)
They have been created for different purposes..., but in the nearby future we could discover that both them standards are becoming competitors...
(Firewire2 vs USB3 ??????????)
Bye,
Raffaele
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 36 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Cheney on 07-May-2002 19:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 32 (Jaeson Koszarsky):
> Sure a PCI card might be less but add the cost of a PCI board to that and the price isn't so good anymore.
See www.eBay.com
USB 1.1 PCI card with four USB ports costs from $6 to $10 !!!!!!
If you add $10 to the PCI busboard price you can have four USB ports on PCI card and four additional PCI slots (for Voodoo, TV, fastethernet and sound card) at the price as low as that of two Highway pieces.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 37 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Cheney on 07-May-2002 19:10 GMT
In reply to Comment 36 (Cheney):
I forgot to add that 10Mbps ethernet module (Norway) for Highway costs $75, when 100Mbps fastethernet PCI card costs less than $10!
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 38 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Michael Boehmer on 07-May-2002 20:54 GMT
Hi folks,
I have followed your discussions - and there's one thing to clarify.
One of the main comments is pricing. You compare HIGHWAY with off-the-shelf USB PCI cards. Have you ever thought why these PCI cards are so cheap ?
There is NO software work for these cards to be done, as the PC operating system has everything already included. There is NO need for special hardware work, as PCI USB bridges are everywhere available. There is even NO need to think about compatibility with different busboards, as PCI is a standard, and everything is already done in the USB PCI chip.
And maybe the high volume production of these PCI cards is also dumping the price you have to pay for a PCI USB solution, guess what ?
For HIGHWAY boards, things are slightly different: we had to write the complete software from scratch, we had to find a Zorro adaptable chip solution, we had to find out which bus boards have what design specialities (I just say... RBM), and we have due to a small market only a relatively small number of boards produced.
Anyhow, we tried to keep quality at maximum despite the wish of a small pricing, as in my opinion people are willing to pay for quality.
For those people still comparing PCI USB cards in pricing with the HIGHWAY board: where do you get drivers from ? A cheap PCI card is nice, but without a working driver and an USB stack it's just a way of wasting energy inside your computer case. Think about it. Hardware is just one part of the game.
Anyhow, thanks to all those who appreciated our work.
It's good to get positive feedback from people.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 39 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Lennart Fridén on 08-May-2002 07:15 GMT
In reply to Comment 36 (Cheney):
Sure, but where's the drivers for it? Having an Amiga means having next to no drivers (and people think Linux is low on drivers) so if you want USB, you've got very little choice. Personally I don't use it all, but cheers for the guys bringing it to the miggy. It's, at the very least, a noble effort.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 40 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Jim Forbes-Ritte(Agafaster) on 08-May-2002 10:45 GMT
Questions Questions Questions...
can I use this to backup me Handspring (PalmOS) via the USB cradle or is a specialist driver required (I currently just point palmbackup at the silversurfer.device) ?
Everyone is rattling on about USB1.1 being dead - who cares ? I currently only have RS232 ! that should be deader than a Brontosaurus right ?
anyone know how fast USB 2.0 is (just out of interest), and how it compares to Firewire ? (PS I do know Apple released the standard for firewire to the Institute of Electrical Engineers, which is why it also became known as IEEE1394 - It was intended to supercede SCSI 63 devices, 450Mb/s ~ 50MB/s, 63 devices instead of a handful)
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 41 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Neil on 08-May-2002 11:31 GMT
In reply to Comment 40 (Jim Forbes-Ritte(Agafaster)):
USB 2.0 offers 480Mbps.
This is 40 times more bandwidth than in USB 1.1 of 12Mbps for full speed devices or 320 times more bandwidth than in USB 1.1 of 1.5Mbps for low speed devices.
USB card HIGHWAY : Comment 42 of 42ANN.lu
Posted by Chris Hodges on 08-May-2002 11:46 GMT
In reply to Comment 40 (Jim Forbes-Ritte(Agafaster)):
Unfortunately there is no real standard for serial RS232 communication replacement via USB
and most PDA syncing stuff via USB is in fact similar to the RS232 stuff, however, there is
no standard way of finding this out or assigning a class driver to something which just
registers on the USB with "vendor specific class and protocol".
However, I'm sure there will be solutions popping up after a short time. I'm also
thinking of adding a dummy device driver which just grabs the first bulk IN and OUT
endpoints and then creates an AmigaOS device (usbraw.device?) handling
CMD_READ/CMD_WRITE. This might be enough to get such devices working. But I cannot
definately say anything yet, as I just haven't had the time to look up very possible
USB device out there.
USB 2.0 theoretically has a raw bus bandwidth of 480MBit/sec, which in fact is much
lower as USB1.1 and USB2.0 devices share the same bus. In the very best theoretical
case with no latency for polling the packets, you can get about 50MB/sec over the bus.
One Low-Speed transfer (i.e a mouse packet), however, will take about 30% of the
bandwidth of a frame (1ms) away. It's always the same with Intel: they invent a cheap
bus capable for slow systems as a RS232 replacement, then they try to upgrade this
design that was intentionally not capable of higher speeds, by hacking/patching/
workarounds and expanding the USB1.1 documentation from 327 pages to 622 pages for
USB2.0 and think they've improved the bus to compete with FireWire.
FireWire was designed by the IEEE group (not by Intel) with high speeds in mind from
the beginning. For what I've know it is a clean and good design. Too bad the licence
fees are a bit higher than with USB :-\
Best regards
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